If you are in the market for a confinement nanny or perhaps considering going into the business, it would be essential for you to know and understand the duties of a confinement nanny. These duties have evolved and changed throughout time, much the same as the nannies themselves have.
No longer is a nanny necessarily curt, stuffy, and tight-lipped with ankle-length dresses and a tight bun knot on top of their head. They are no longer the epitome of the schoolmarm and are as strict as the headmaster.
First, let’s take this back to the basics and clarify what a confinement nanny is, to begin with. Some folks may have never heard of one and others may know them by some other name.
What is a Confinement Nanny?
To make this quite simple, a confinement nanny is a caretaker who assists in caring for a newborn and to some degree the postpartum mother for a specified period of time after a birth. The principle was conceptualized somewhere in Asian post-natal practices as a means of allowing the mother to come back into balance with nature.
The ancient, but somehow still modern, principles of yin and yang are the foundation for the confinement nanny sometimes also called a confinement lady. The period of 30 – 40 days or so that the nanny assists the new mother allows mum time to recover, re balance her yin and yang, and be restored in health both physically and mentally.
This practice is actually steeped deep in Chinese medicine and has been practiced by millions for hundreds of years. Evolving as time has also, the role of the nanny and perhaps even the desire or need for one has been challenged by many including doctors, employers, and the mothers themselves.
However, it might be a consideration worthy of investigation even in a westernized society, if new moms were allowed the opportunity to have a pui yuet (30 day companion) for assistance while they adjusted to their new role. Even if a newborn is not the first child, the mother’s role is changing and will therefore be an adjustment. Is it possible the pui yuet could benefit both mom and babe?
What does a confinement nanny do?
On first thought, one might think this should not require much thought. The term nanny typically depicts someone who has been hired in some capacity (either live-in or visiting) to care for a child or children. Nannies have existed in some capacity for as long as anyone can remember throughout and around the world.
The confinement nanny, per Se, may or may not be different than the typically thought of nanny. This would likely depend on whether you were to hire the individual one on one or through an agency.
Regardless of how or where a confinement nanny is obtained, the most important part of ascertaining their duties and responsibilities is to communicate exact expectations. Truly the best way to make sure that everyone is on the same page and there are no questions about duties is to have some form of written agreement. This can be as official as a contract or as unofficial as a computer generated agreement (essentially a home contract). All involved parties should read and sign the agreement and it should detail duties, hours, complete expectations, pay, duration, and considerations for termination of the contract if needed by either party.
Confinement nanny duties may also vary depending on their hours. Do you want a live in or a day nanny? These are things you should consider.
Generally accepted confinement nanny duties (Day nanny):
- Baby care – tending to any and/or all needs for the newborn as mother requires.
- Cooking for mom
- Shopping if needed by mom or baby
- Basic housekeeping – often very basic (sweep, mop, kitchen)Laundry for mom and baby
The Live in confinement nanny would supply all of the above, but additionally baby care would be 24 hours a day as indicated for mom’s rest time.
It is possible that a nanny may do more (help with dad’s food, help with other children, etc.), if it is agreed upon in advance. This should be included in your contract and pay should be adjusted according to the amount of work you expect from your nanny.
Remember your nanny is here to help your family through a very important time in your life. Make sure your communication is perfect ahead of time so there are no unforeseen issues.